7 Reasons to Add Plantains to Your Diet (#5 Will Make You Think)

Diversity of muscle

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This explains why the strongest vocal advocates of low-fat fruitarian diets tend to be distance athletes who require and eat enormous amounts of calories. This makes bananas a good choice for anyone who is watching their calorie intake in order to lose weight. For example, herbivores have a number of molars which are used to grind plant matter, which is difficult to digest. Compared to other fruits- like berries, citrus, and kiwis- bananas are somewhat high in sugar and lower in fiber. Maintenance of mineral status Skeletal structure Muscle contraction Blood clotting Nerve conduction Cell signaling Phosphorus balance. Saliva controls pH in this region of the digestive tract.

Symptoms of Calcium Deficiency

Banana Nutrition, Concerns, Benefits & Recipes

It is 40 mg for younger individuals. Side effects of too much iron are gastrointestinal and include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and constipation.

Immediate emergency medical care is critical because death can occur quickly. In addition to gastrointestinal symptoms, the child may experience rapid heartbeat, dizziness and confusion.

Hemochromatosis is a genetic defect that causes excessive iron absorption. Over time, iron can accumulate in and cause damage to various parts of the body. The result could be diabetes, liver cancer , cirrhosis of the liver and joint problems.

Advances in genetic science allow us, through DNA health testing , to find out if our genes predispose us to higher risk of developing hemochromatosis. Iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency throughout the world.

These include young children over 6 months of age, adolescents, menstruating women and pregnant women. Because they consume no heme iron, vegetarians are also at increased risk. Iron deficiency results in anemia with symptoms ranging from fatigue to rapid heart rate to decreased tolerance to cold to decreased athletic performance. Pica, the eating of clay, paper, ice and other non-food items, especially during pregnancy, may also be a symptom of iron deficiency. Chromium enhances the effects of insulin, and may thus, play a role in the development of glucose intolerance and type 2 diabetes.

Clinical assessment of chromium status is difficult. Copper assists with the transport of iron. Rich sources of copper include liver, shellfish, legumes, nuts and seeds. Deficiencies or excesses of copper are rare in healthy people. Fluoride helps prevent dental caries. The main source of fluoride is municipal water supplies that add fluoride to the water.

Excess fluoride discolors and damages teeth. Iodine is a component of the thyroid hormones, which regulate metabolic rate and body temperature. Sources of iodine include saltwater fish, liver, legumes, potatoes, iodized salt and dairy products.

In recent years, the use of iodized salt has decreased deficiency cases. Under different circumstances, excess iodine can cause either hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. Both too little and too much iodine can cause goiter, an enlargement of the thyroid gland. Manganese is important in many enzyme-mediated chemical reactions including enzymes involved in the synthesis of cartilage in skin and bone.

Tea and coffee are significant sources of manganese in the American diet. Additional sources are nuts, whole grains, legumes and some fruits and vegetables. Magnesium deficiency is rare. Toxicity is also uncommon and is most frequently the result of exposure to airborne manganese dust.

The UL for manganese is 11 mg per day. Molybdenum assists several enzymes including one required for the metabolism of sulfur-containing amino acids.

Peas, legumes and some breakfast cereals supply molybdenum. Both molybdenum deficiency and toxicity are rare. High doses of molybdenum, however, inhibit copper absorption. Selenium is required for immune function and for the synthesis of thyroid hormones.

Additionally, this mineral assists enzymes in protecting cell membranes from damage. Depending upon the soil in which they are grown, Brazil nuts are one of the richest sources of selenium. Organ meats, seafood, other meats and whole grains are additional sources. Some research also links low intakes to some cancers. Toxicity causes brittle hair and nails and is most likely to occur with supplements.

Zinc is critical for normal growth and sexual maturation. It plays a role in the immune system and is important to the proper function of at least 70 enzymes including one that helps protect cells from damage. Oysters, beef and clams are rich sources of absorbable zinc. Whole grains also contain zinc, but it is less available for absorption. Zinc deficiency causes delayed growth and sexual development, decreased immune function, altered sense of taste, hair loss and gastrointestinal distress.

Zinc deficiency is uncommon in healthy people in the U. It is more common among populations that consume cereals as their primary source of nutrition. Zinc toxicity is rare. For your overall health, each nutrient is as important as the next. Whether they are macronutrients or micronutrients, vitamins, major minerals or trace minerals, they each have a unique role.

A deficiency in any will impact your wellbeing. Eating a diet with both a variety of food groups and a variety within food groups is your best protection against nutrient imbalances. April 20, Micronutrients Overview Micronutrients are those nutrients we require in relatively small quantities.

Major Minerals Trace Minerals. Carbohydrates Proteins Fats What are calories? A source of soluble and fermentable fiber helps to increase the movement of digesta through the gut and decrease gastric emptying. This helps to increase satiety in cats, potentially decreasing feeding rates and voluntary energy consumption. Prebiotic fibers like fructooligosaccharides FOS and mannonoligosaccharides MOS decrease the number of pathogenic bacteria and increase the number of beneficial bacteria in the gut.

They also help to maintain microbial balance and a healthy immune system. Fiber is fermented in the colon to produce short-chain fatty acids which can be used as an energy source. Fermentable fiber has been demonstrated to enhance general health and decrease inflammation. Insoluble fiber has been proposed to regulate appetite by releasing hormones that reduce hunger. Sources of fiber commonly added in weight management cat food include beet pulp, barley, psyllium and cellulose. Another nutrient important for weight control diets is protein and its component amino acids.

Felines, being obligate carnivores, require a natural diet of strict [ clarification needed ] animal products which consists of protein and fat i. Dietary protein supplies amino acids that can be utilized and metabolised as energy over [ clarification needed ] fat when provided, even though protein is not stored in the body the same way as fat.

Lean body mass maintenance is regulated by protein intake, but more importantly is regulated by exercise. Limited protein and amino acids in the diet will limit lean body mass growth, but exercise or lack of exercise will allow growth or shrinking of muscle.

Successful weight control involves maintenance of healthy adipose tissue levels, but most importantly maintenance of lean body mass. Lean muscle is the driver of basal energy metabolism and aids in the use of energy. When sufficient levels of fat are provided, fat will be used by the body as an energy source, but only when there are insufficient levels of protein. This is a vitamin-like substance that is found in animal protein, and is the only form [ of what?

L-carnitine is involved in many biological pathways, more specifically fatty acid metabolism, allowing for the conversion of long-chain fatty acids into energy. The introduction of L-carnitine ensures rapid transport and oxidation of fatty acids as well as efficient usage of dietary fatty acids and protein. Supplementary L-carnitine is used more often in weight loss diets, since its benefits mainly involve fatty acid metabolism to control weight loss.

However, since weight control is, in essence, a prevention stage in overall weight management, it still has value in weight control diets in preserving and building lean body mass and inhibiting the storage of excess dietary fat. The majority of studies focusing on supplementary L-carnitine use look at its benefits for weight loss, including its effect on metabolic rate and fatty acid oxidation.

In the United States, cat foods labeled as "complete and balanced" must meet standards established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials AAFCO either by meeting a nutrient profile or by passing a feeding trial.

Certain manufacturers label their products with terms such as premium, ultra premium, natural and holistic. Such terms currently have no legal definitions.

Dry cat food kibble is most often packed in multi-wall paper bags , sometimes with a plastic film layer; similar bag styles with film laminates or coextrusions are also used. Wet cat food is often packed in aluminum cans or steel cans. Packaging regulations for cat food are often very similar to corresponding regulations for human foods. Vitamin deficiencies can lead to wide-ranging clinical abnormalities that reflect the diversity of their metabolic roles. Twelve minerals are known to be essential nutrients for cats.

Calcium and phosphorus are crucial to strong bones and teeth. Cats need other minerals, such as magnesium, potassium, and sodium, for nerve impulse transmission, muscle contraction, and cell signaling.

Many minerals only present in minute amounts in the body, including selenium, copper, and molybdenum, act as helpers in a wide variety of enzymatic reactions. The table below lists the AAFCO nutritional profiles for cat foods along with the roles of vitamins and minerals in cat nutrition according to the National Research Council. Many nutrients can cause a variety of deficiency symptoms in cats, and the skin is a vital organ that is susceptible to dietary changes in minerals, protein, fatty acids, and vitamins A and B.

This results in dandruff, redness, hair loss, greasy skin, and reduced hair growth. Good overall nutrition is needed along with a well balanced diet. Zinc's connection to skin and coat health is due to its influence on regulating cellular metabolism. One of the many functions of copper is to assist in production of connective tissue and the pigment melanin.

Selenium works with vitamin E as antioxidants to handle the free radicals that are damaging to the body and the skin. Fatty acids are an important part of the cats diet, some are more important than others with respect to the cats diet and these are known as essential fatty acids. Alpha-Linolenic acid , Linoleic acid , and Arachidonic acid.

Vitamin A is a crucial nutritional component in the maintenance of feline skin and coat health. Vitamin E is an essential nutrient which needs to be included in the feline diet in order to protect the lipid components within cellular membranes of various tissues in the body.

Biotin can be provided in feline diets through the addition of cooked eggs, liver, milk, legumes or nuts. Unlike humans, felines are able to utilize simple sugars glucose and galactose in a specialized pathway which occurs in the liver, referred to as the glucuronate pathway.

Therapeutic diets with low protein have been adopted by a number of big pet food manufacturers with the goal of supporting renal health for cats with chronic kidney disease CKD. Low protein diets can be formulated as a wet or dry food, with the main difference being the moisture content. Low protein diets should not be fed to cats with the liver condition known as hepatic encephalopathy because severe protein restriction can be detrimental to animals with this condition.

A high energy diet is generally high in fat. Compared to carbohydrates and protein , fat provides much more energy , at 8. A high energy diet is appropriate for cats who are undergoing growth, recovering from illness, are pregnant or lactating , as their energy requirements are higher than otherwise. To maintain a neutral energy balance and thus maintain body weight, energy intake should increase with energy expenditure.

It has been shown that cats offered four meals a day or a random number of meals a day have similar energy levels, greater than those fed only one meal per day.

As cats age, there is evidence that their metabolic energy requirements may increase, [52] especially after 12 or 13 years old, [52] but other evidence suggests that metabolic energy needs are not dissimilar at different ages. Pregnancy and lactation are strenuous periods on the female cat. It has been found that nutritional support consistent with the resting energy requirement RER soon after surgery or the onset of illness decreases the mortality rate and the duration of hospitalization in cats.

Critical care diets are formulated to be highly palatable and digestible, as well as high energy density. Vegetarian or vegan cat food has been available for many years, and is targeted primarily at vegan and vegetarian pet owners. While a small percentage of owners choose such a diet based on its perceived health benefits, the majority do so due to ethical concerns. While there is anecdotal evidence that cats do well on vegetarian food, [59] studies on commercial and homemade vegetarian cat foods have found nutritional inadequacies.

As obligate carnivores, cats require nutrients including arginine, taurine, arachidonic acid, vitamin A, vitamin B12 and niacin found in meat sources. Plant sources do not contain enough of these. Vegetarian pet food companies try to correct these deficiencies by adding synthetically produced nutrients. Cats on a vegan diet can develop abnormally alkaline high pH urine as plant-based proteins are more alkaline than the meat-based foods which cats have evolved to eat.

Calcium oxalate stones can also occur if the urine is too acidic. Such stones can create irritation and infection of the urinary tract and require veterinary treatment. Organizations that advocate vegan or vegetarian diets for people have split opinions regarding vegetarian or vegan cat food.

But the Vegetarian Society suggests people "consider carefully" and that many cats will not adjust to a vegetarian diet. They provide a list of necessary nutrients that would need to be supplemented, and recommend that those who want to try should consult a veterinarian or animal nutritionist. They do not recommend relying on supplements, because they may not contain necessary co-factors and enzymes and have not been studied for long term implications. Hence, regular at least, annual veterinary checkups of all companion animals is recommended, and brands may be occasionally varied.

Even when adequately supplemented, vegetarian diets may present other risks, such as urine acidity problems. While there are anecdotal reports linking a vegetarian diet with urinary tract problems, no documented case report or study exists.

In , the first study of the health of a population of long-term vegetarian cats was published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. The study consisted of telephone questionnaires of the caregivers of 32 cats, and analysis of blood samples from some of the cats. The blood samples were tested for taurine and cobalamin deficiencies. Cobalamin levels were normal in all cats. Taurine levels were low in 3 out of 17 cats tested, but not low enough to be considered clinically deficient.

Formulation of a nutritionally adequate vegan cat diet has its limitations. The reason for these dietary essential nutrients can be found in the physiology section of the Cat page. Protein and fat content in a vegan cat diet can be balanced by the inclusion of tofu and yeast.

For instance, plant materials do not provide the preformed vitamin A which cats cannot synthesize, therefore supplementation is needed. Some ingredients of vegan cat diets that provide arginine, are pumpkin seed, almond, soya flour, lentil seeds and oat flakes see table one.

Cats are obligate carnivores and require protein in their diet as an important component in energy metabolism and maintenance of lean body muscle. In general, lower protein diets tend to consist of a greater carbohydrate content, which means a potentially higher glycemic response in cats.

A nutritional balance of amino acids is important in low protein cat diets as cats are highly sensitive to deficiencies in arginine, taurine, methionine, and cysteine.

Feeding a lower protein content can help lower the amount of calcium being excreted in the feces and urine. A lower amount of harmful bacteria is accumulated with a lower protein diet which helps to increase the amount of positive bacteria present in the gut. In low protein diets, unless the protein source is a high quality protein such as an animal-based protein, cats and especially kittens have been shown to develop retinal degeneration due to a deficiency in taurine , an essential amino acid for cats that is derived from animal protein.

Since cats have such a high protein requirement, lower protein content, and thus lower amino acid concentrations, in the diet has been linked to health defects such as lack of growth, decreased food intake, muscle atrophy, hypoalbuminemia, skin alterations, and more. Low protein diets that are high in carbohydrates have been found to decrease glucose tolerance in cats.

Cats have a high priority for gluconeogenesis to provide energy for tissues like the brain. Low protein diets have been shown to lower the levels of eosinophilic granulocytes in cats, which impacts the overall function of the immune system. The gastrointestinal tract is the source of nutrient absorption, making it integral to overall health.

Research shows fiber , prebiotics , probiotics , antioxidants and fatty acids are important in maintaining gastrointestinal health. The addition of fiber at optimal levels in a diet is essential for the normal function and health of the gastrointestinal tract. Dietary fibers are plant carbohydrates which cannot be digested by mammalian enzymes. Fiber, though it is not an essential nutrient, is important for a healthy gastrointestinal tract. Short-chain fatty acids production from dietary fibers have many other advantageous effects on the gastrointestinal tract.

Fibers promote bacterial growth and activity in the large intestine. Prebiotics are short-chain carbohydrates classified as fibers with an added aspect as they selectively promote the growth of beneficial bacteria.

Probiotics are becoming increasingly popular in the diets of felines. Nutraceuticals such as antioxidants are considered to be additives of gastrointestinal diets to prevent digestive upset. Vitamin C ascorbic acid is a water-soluble antioxidant and a free radical scavenger where it will donate an electron to compounds with unpaired elections or reactive but not radical compounds.

A fat is a type of lipid which comes in the form of many different molecules throughout the body, and fatty acids are just one type of fat that can be found. Inflammation is the process by which the body begins to heal and defend itself from viral and bacterial infections and physical damage like burns or cuts. To achieve optimal cellular health especially in the gut and to maintain a healthy microbiome, proper nutrition is necessary nutrition is multifactorial and complex.

Cats have a higher tolerance for a greater amount of fat in the diet, and although its digestion is complex and important pertaining to its many functions and its influence on immune and inflammatory responses , fat composition in the diet appears to have a small effect on GI disease in cats. One group of fatty acids that is particularly important for gastrointestinal GI health is the essential fatty acid EFA group. There is very little research on cats in general, especially when diving into very targeted topics like GIT health of cats and the effects of fatty acids of any length on their digestive system, especially cats with GIT disorders.

Many pet owners feed cats homemade diets. These diets generally consist of some form of cooked or raw meat, bone, vegetables, and supplements, such as taurine and Multivitamin s. A study reported that food packaged in cans coated with bisphenol A is correlated with the development of hyperthyroidism in cats. The main complaint is excessive scratching pruritus which is usually resistant to treatment by steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The exact prevalence of food allergy in cats remains unknown.

A reliable diagnosis can only be made with dietary elimination-challenge trials. Allergy testing is necessary for the identification of the causative food component s. Therapy consists of avoiding the offending food component s. Malnutrition can be a problem for cats fed non-conventional diets. Cats fed exclusively on raw, freshwater fish can develop a thiamine deficiency.

Those fed exclusively on liver may develop vitamin A toxicity. Also, exclusively meat-based diets may contain excessive protein and phosphorus whilst being deficient in calcium , vitamin E , and microminerals such as copper , zinc , and potassium. Energy density must also be maintained relative to the other nutrients.

When vegetable oil is used to maintain the energy balance cats may not find the food as palatable. The broad pet food recalls starting in March came in response to reports of renal failure in pets consuming mostly wet pet foods made with wheat gluten from a single Chinese company beginning in February Overall, several major companies recalled more than brands of pet foods with most of the recalled product coming from Menu Foods.

The most likely cause according to the FDA is the presence of melamine in the wheat gluten of the affected foods. Melamine is known to falsely inflate the protein content rating of substances in laboratory tests.

Some companies were not affected and utilized the situation to generate sales for alternative pet foods. In a study on the impacts of the pet food industry on world fish and seafood supplies, researchers estimate that 2.

Based on numbers, cats in the US consume the caloric equivalent of what , 0. While pet food is made predominantly using byproducts from human food productions, the increase in popularity of human-grade and byproduct-free pet food means there is increasing pressure on the overall meat supply. In , an estimated From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the song by King Crimson, see Cat Food song. Environmental effects of meat production. Rations greater than 4. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

What's really for dinner? The truth about commercial pet food. Retrieved October 2, Journal of Animal Science. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Journal of Nutritional Science. Animal Feed Science and Technology. The Pleasure of Their Company". Nutrient requirements of cats. Nutrient Requirements of Cats and Dogs.

National Research Council - National Academies. The Journal of Nutrition. Manual of Skin Diseases of the Dog and Cat 2 ed. New Zealand Veterinary Journal. Journal of veterinary emergency and critical care. Muller and Kirk's Small Animal Dermatology 7 ed. Annual Review of Nutrition. Effects of serum vitamin E levels on skin vitamin E levels in dogs and cats. Journal of veterinary internal medicine.

Can we move from treatment to prevention?

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